Massive waves are expected to hit Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim Park Reserve this week. (Photo - Nora O’Malley)

“Intense” storms coming to Tofino and Ucluelet this week

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide.”

The West Coast will be a stormwatcher’s paradise this week.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, along with both Tofino and Ucluelet’s district offices, are warning West Coast locals and visitors to “use extreme caution” around beaches, docks and marinas from Jan. 18-20 as heavy winds are on the way.

“During this time period, large ocean swells are predicted to be upwards of 9 metres. High tides of up to 3.6 metres occurring mid-day are predicted to compound the wave hazard,” read an information bulletin distributed by the three parties Tuesday afternoon.

“If you are near the water, it is important to be ‘Coastsmart,’ by staying above the high tide and off large exposed rocks.”

Winds up to 63 knots are expected to occur along with shoreline flooding and large waves breaking high up the shore that could result in floating logs on beaches as well as “extremely hazardous surf conditions,” according to the bulletin.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is asking anyone who wants to watch the massive waves crashing onto its beaches to do so safely by taking in the scene from the Kwisitis Visitor Centre’s Observation Deck at Wickaninnish Beach or the Florencia Bay Lookout.

Environment Canada has also issued a wind warning on the West Coast of Vancouver Island for tomorrow and expects “Southeast winds of 70 to 90 km/h will develop over exposed coastal sections by Wednesday morning due to an intense Pacific frontal system approaching Vancouver Island.”

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